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Illinois Stakes To 'Gemini' & Rollin Coal

Published: July 9, 2017 3:55 am ET

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Juvenile pacers were the focus on the big 13-race card Saturday evening (July 8) at Hawthorne Race Course.

Colts and geldings were the focus in race six on Saturday in the $29,800 Cardinal final. Backstreet Lawyer was scratched, leaving a field of nine. Fox Valley Gemini took all of the wagering action and was sent away as the heavy favourite. Prior to the start of the race, there was a recall as Molina and Thebestmanicanbe locked wheels, requiring driver Kyle Husted to return to the paddock for a new race bike.

Bootleg Island left for the lead in the Cardinal final, but Thebestmanicanbe moved to challenge the quarter in :30.2. On the backside, favoured Fox Valley Gemini and Casey Leonard took over briefly, but was then headed by Dandy Dude through a half in :59.1. On the turn, Mykonos provided to fresh challenge to Dandy Dude past three-quarters in 1:27.4. In the lane, Dandy Dude was all out, but Fox Valley Gemini came back and won by a length on the wire in 1:54.4. Dandy Dude was second while Beach Shootingstar finished third. Fox Valley Gemini is owned by Jim Ballinger and trained by Terry Leonard.

Race seven was the $28,600 Violet final for two-year-old filly pacers with a field of nine after the scratch of Allbeastnobeauty. Rollin Coal was the favourite with Casey Leonard driving.

The favourite had to work to make the top through the quarter in :29.2. On the backstretch, Rollin Coal maintained her advantage, covering the half in 1:00.1. After the second quarter breather, Rollin Coal faced a challenge from longshot Shelby Rae through three-quarters in 1:28.4. In the lane, Rollin Coal was roused and drew away, winning by four lengths over The New Americana. JBs Shooting Star finished third. Rollin Coal is owned and trained by Hosea Williams.

(With files from Hawthorne Race Course)

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